The 400km electric fence is a conservation tool put in place to help resolve multiple challenges facing the Aberdare Range ecosystem. These challenges included poaching, bush-meat hunting, snaring, illegal logging, charcoal burning and encroachment. These activities, by the 1980’s had almost decimated the population of critically endangered black rhino in the ecosystem.
At the same time, regular crop damage by wildlife, especially elephant, was a major problem for the farmers residing next to the Aberdare protected areas. Encounters between farmers and wildlife occasionally led to human fatalities, and served to heighten tensions between humans and wildlife.
Construction of the fence began in 1989 and was completed in August 2009.
Today, in spite of the dramatic decrease in black rhino number in the 1980s, the ANP still hold a small and genetically viable population of native black rhino. This is largely due to the building of the fence.
To maintain the fence in good working condition, a team of fence scouts based in “Fence Energizer Stations” patrol the fence line daily to carry out maintenance work.
The project is a partnership between Rhino Ark, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and the local communities. Rhino Ark and the Kenya Government provided the funds while KWS oversaw the construction work.